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Order Execution quality for Merrill Edge, TD Ameritrade and IB


muscleman
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I am currently using IB and considering to move to ME or TD due to poor customer services at IB, but I would like to know your thoughts on ME and TD's order execution quality.

 

https://www.stockbrokers.com/guides/order-execution

It seems to me that both IB and ME are one of the few brokers who don't accept payment on order flow, and they directly route orders to the exchanges, according to SEC 606 reports.

https://vrs.vista-one-solutions.com/sec606rule.aspx

 

But TD routes orders to knight capital and other high frequency trading firms and accepts rebates.

 

 

I primarily trade US small cap and occasionally trade OTC. What's your experience in terms of order execution for ME, TD and IB?

 

I am currently using Fidelity and IB and I don't see any differences so far. I place limit orders and they seem to fill at similar time and prices.

 

 

 

 

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just a heads up that merrill has a minimum balance requirement for stocks less than $1. They'll force you to liquidate.

 

Oh..... They force people to liquidate penny stocks if the minimum balance is too low? That kind of sucks.....

Have you seen any trade issues in ME?

I Googled around and it seems like people really don't like ME's customer service. I have the impression that ME's customer service is as bad as IB?

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just a heads up that merrill has a minimum balance requirement for stocks less than $1. They'll force you to liquidate.

 

Oh..... They force people to liquidate penny stocks if the minimum balance is too low? That kind of sucks.....

Have you seen any trade issues in ME?

I Googled around and it seems like people really don't like ME's customer service. I have the impression that ME's customer service is as bad as IB?

 

Yep. Seems silly. But guess you could always hold them somewhere else. No trade issues other than some questionable DRIP fills. Have only really dealt with customer service when moving accounts over but were helpful then...but could be a reason for that.

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just a heads up that merrill has a minimum balance requirement for stocks less than $1. They'll force you to liquidate.

 

Oh..... They force people to liquidate penny stocks if the minimum balance is too low? That kind of sucks.....

Have you seen any trade issues in ME?

I Googled around and it seems like people really don't like ME's customer service. I have the impression that ME's customer service is as bad as IB?

 

Yep. Seems silly. But guess you could always hold them somewhere else. No trade issues other than some questionable DRIP fills. Have only really dealt with customer service when moving accounts over but were helpful then...but could be a reason for that.

 

 

Thank you. Some reviewers say its web based trading platform is slow and clunky. Do you have any such experiences?

Do you use other brokers and do you have any feelings that orders sometimes get filled in other brokers but not in or vice versa?

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Probably had the best experience execution-wise with Ameritrade. Merrill is probably more on par with my experience with Scottrade. Kind of barebones, though the research reports are of a decent quality, which is a plus.  But put up with it for the free trades which makes up for maybe not getting a fill at the exact number I want.

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Probably had the best experience execution-wise with Ameritrade. Merrill is probably more on par with my experience with Scottrade. Kind of barebones, though the research reports are of a decent quality, which is a plus.  But put up with it for the free trades which makes up for maybe not getting a fill at the exact number I want.

 

Thank you! In that case I'll go with TD then.

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Anecdotal point from today - I was buying options in the same name at the same strike today with IB and Merrill Edge.  The option cost $1.05 at IB to get a fill. At Merrill Edge I had to pony up $1.15 to get a fill - ouch.

 

Thank you! These anecdotal points are exactly what I am looking for

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Anecdotal point from today - I was buying options in the same name at the same strike today with IB and Merrill Edge.  The option cost $1.05 at IB to get a fill. At Merrill Edge I had to pony up $1.15 to get a fill - ouch.

 

Any additional stories like this are welcome! Especially including TD.

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In late '15 / early '16 I started buying LUK 2043's, a relatively illiquid $250mm issue. Generally was able to execute 1-2 points better on the buy on Interactive Brokers for my account than on Fidelity for my parents account.  Also Fidelity sometimes wouldn't even show both sides of the bid/offer which I could see existed at IB (and could transact at IB).

 

On a decent amount of notional, the differences in execution on the buy amounted to a few thousand dollars of difference.

 

Executions on the sell were more similar in because i sold when bonds were more liquid.

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I am using ML and I don't like their executions.

I noticed whenever I put on a trade, and do a "preview" of the order, the bid/ask price will change a lot from the moments before I click on the "preview" button. 80% of the time it's a higher bid for my buy orders. And when I submit the order, 80% the bid goes higher. It's as if the moment I "preview" the order, the market already knows my order. There were about 3 instances where I bought at the highest price during the day, for a large cap stock.

Maybe I am too skeptical :) But their quote systems is definitely slower than google finance. Plus, you can't buy international stocks. And they don't give you lending fees which Fidelity do. But they do have good research.

 

IBKR is definitely better. But you have to pay $10 minimal commission there. I used to have an account there. I don't use it anymore because the interface is too "good" - it makes me want to day trade a lot. All those futures products and cheap commissions. Very easy to over trade there.

 

 

 

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I am using ML and I don't like their executions.

I noticed whenever I put on a trade, and do a "preview" of the order, the bid/ask price will change a lot from the moments before I click on the "preview" button. 80% of the time it's a higher bid for my buy orders. And when I submit the order, 80% the bid goes higher. It's as if the moment I "preview" the order, the market already knows my order. There were about 3 instances where I bought at the highest price during the day, for a large cap stock.

Maybe I am too skeptical :) But their quote systems is definitely slower than google finance. Plus, you can't buy international stocks. And they don't give you lending fees which Fidelity do. But they do have good research.

 

IBKR is definitely better. But you have to pay $10 minimal commission there. I used to have an account there. I don't use it anymore because the interface is too "good" - it makes me want to day trade a lot. All those futures products and cheap commissions. Very easy to over trade there.

 

 

Thank you!

 

Have you used TD?

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I am using ML and I don't like their executions.

I noticed whenever I put on a trade, and do a "preview" of the order, the bid/ask price will change a lot from the moments before I click on the "preview" button. 80% of the time it's a higher bid for my buy orders. And when I submit the order, 80% the bid goes higher. It's as if the moment I "preview" the order, the market already knows my order. There were about 3 instances where I bought at the highest price during the day, for a large cap stock.

Maybe I am too skeptical :) But their quote systems is definitely slower than google finance. Plus, you can't buy international stocks. And they don't give you lending fees which Fidelity do. But they do have good research.

 

IBKR is definitely better. But you have to pay $10 minimal commission there. I used to have an account there. I don't use it anymore because the interface is too "good" - it makes me want to day trade a lot. All those futures products and cheap commissions. Very easy to over trade there.

 

 

Thank you!

 

Have you used TD?

 

I didn't.

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